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Socioeconomic Status And Students Essay

1626 words - 7 pages

Meager research has been done on the impact of a student’s social class on their academic achievement in comparison to factors such as gender and race. From what has been researched, it is apparent that while a student’s socioeconomic status (from now on referred to as SES) may not affect student’s achievement directly, their SES affects factors that influence their social/peer capital, their resources, and their self-efficacy; these things in turn affect student achievement. Throughout this review, I will reference numerous articles and data collections that support these claims and explain how the aforementioned factors influence each other as well as student achievement.
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They mention that low SES students may have to work part time or take care of siblings outside of school and may be unable to complete homework because of this (Ream, 2008, p. 125).
In connection with the research done by Ream and Rumberger, Marion Terry collected data from 70 research participants who had dropped out of school. The data used was collected from official documents, personal documents, and interviews (Terry, 2008, p. 26). Although Terry does not touch on the participants SES during the time they dropped out, Terry’s study asks in depth questions as to how the participant’s peers influenced them to drop out. I believe that this is relevant because as Ream and Rumberger surmised, SES does affect your peer capital and Terry’s research allows us to better understand how peer capital influences a student’s success or failure. Terry (2008) found “Sixteen [participants] in the study complained of unsatisfactory relationships with their peers” (p. 32) and “Twelve [participants] in the study blames drop out peers for their decisions to drop out” (p.34). Parents also had an influence on whether or not student’s stayed in school. Terry (2008) writes, “Lack of parental support to stay in school from evincing generally unsupportive attitudes, to watching too much television and having too few reading materials in the home…” (p. 28). In what I have read and experienced, it is more likely that low SES parents who were perhaps dropouts themselves are the parents that do not provide enough support for their children.
With the information from these two articles, I can state with relative certainty that the peers and adults students associate with have a direct impact on whether or not they succeed in school. Not only that, but a student’s social class affects who students know. More often than not, students find peers who they have similar backgrounds to and feel comfortable with because of that. This inhibits student’s abilities to grow their social/peer capital because they are not making friends outside of their social class, friends that may have more connections and resources to share. Hernandez (2011) remarks that impoverished students “miss school frequently because of health or family concerns” (p. 7). This has been seen in many cases where older siblings feel obligated to stay at home and help their parents with younger siblings. Social capital is not only people you know outside of your family, but includes your family as well. It is possible that family tradition may also hold the student back from reaching their potential.
When students have little social or peer capital, they are also “confronted with pronounced disadvantages in resources” (Ream, 2008, p. 117). Liu and Lu researched the inhibited resources students with low SES backgrounds struggle with. Liu and Lu (2008) chose students to investigate based on their family SES status and looked to see if there was a relationship between the students’ academic achievement and...

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